poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Gay Marriage Headed to State Supreme Court

- The city of San Francisco is promising a swift appeal following the State Court of Appeal ruling against gay marriage.
 City attorney Dennis Herrera told KCBS’ Tim Ryan that the ruling ignores basic constitutional rights. "If other courts had followed this line of reasoning, schools would still be segregated, women would not have been able to enter the workforce, and married couples would not be able to practice birth control free of government interference.”

Herrera accepts what will be an uphill battle, as most members of the state Supreme Court were appointed by Republican governors. "The fact of the matter is we are steadfast and couldn't be prouder to be at the forefront of this battle."

Randy Thomason of stands on the other side of the issue. His message to high court justices is that California voters might toss them out if the gay marriage ban is overturned. "Even if you believe that marriage is not for a man and a woman, at least respect the vote of the people as being important," said Thomason.


Early Gay Activist's Papers Go To Nation

 In April 1965 Frank Kameny helped organize the first gay rights demonstration in front of the White House.  It came almost eight years after he was fired from the Army Map Service because he was gay.

Friday, Kameny presented the papers and artifacts of a lifetime of gay activism to the nation - including the original picket sign he carried in front of the White House.
In a ceremony held at the U.S. Library of Congress Kameny officially turned over more than 70,000 letters, documents and memorabilia.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Transgender woman hopes suit against former employer will help others

Her journey to her authentic self took a long and circuitous route that was neither pretty nor smooth.

Four days after Christmas 2003, she crashed the Dodge Intrepid she was driving into the rear of a Ford Explorer parked on North Main Street in downtown Washington, Pa.

Stressed and depressed, she'd fallen asleep at the wheel in a company rental car. Police found her partially ejected from the car.

About two months earlier, she'd told her employer that she had a gender-identity disorder and would be transitioning from being a man to a woman.


Kiwi transgender inquiry a world-first    

The Human Rights Commission is currently holding an inquiry into discrimination and human rights issues for transgender people, believed to be the first of its kind worldwide.

Coordinator Jack Byrne says the inquiry is focusing on three key issues: transgender people's personal experiences of discrimination, their access to health services and ability to legally change their gender on identiy documents.

"The inquiry welcomes submissions from all parts of the transgender community, for example transgender and transsexual people, whakawâhine, takatâpui, fa'afafine, cross dressers, queens, akava'ine, fakaleiti and mahu,” explains Byrne.

"We would also like to hear from other individuals and groups that are aware of the discrimination and human rights issues faced by transgender people. This includes, for example, transgender people's partners and other family members, community organisations, unions, health professionals and government agencies.”


Bankruptcy of a group aiding gay Latinos has wide reverberations

WASHINGTON - The financial collapse of a prominent organization that aids gay Latinos has left federal officials scrambling to reclaim hundreds of thousands of dollars in allegedly misspent government money.

Once active in California, Florida and other states with large Latino populations, the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization is mired in bankruptcy court. Its doors are shut and others are assuming its high-stakes health work while lawyers dissect a legacy of debt.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gonzalez "Gay-Panic" Defense Fails

A jury reached a verdict today, in the case of a Fresno man charged with first-degree murder. 24 year old Jesse Gonzalez used what some called a "gay-panic defense".

Gonzalez admits he stabbed 37 year old Larry Trevino to death in 2003. But, did so only because he was trying to resist Trevino's sexual advances.

The jury rejected that defense, finding Gonzales guilty of murder with premeditation.


Why we need to break the chains of gay people

It's strange how the movement to annul the anti-sodomy laws has been proceeding. The latest being the hue and cry over the open letter by Vikram Seth and over 150 others including Amartya Sen and Arundhati Roy crying for the removal of Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code for being unconstitutional.

The backlash against the movement has also started building up and now covers a whole spectrum from lunatic fringe right-wing groups to the equally loony liberals.


Fiji Methodists gear up for anti-gay march

Fiji's powerful Methodist Church is considering staging another protest march after the discovery that a gay and lesbian resort is already operating in the country.

The Fiji Sun reports that the resort is located at Pacific Harbour 50 kilometres west of Suva and is operated by gays for gays and lesbians.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Arnold signs "gay panic" bill, vetoes bully ban

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continued sending mixed messages to LGBT Californians when he signed into law three gay-positive bills but vetoed another.

On Thursday, the Republican governor signed into law a bill that would make it more difficult for defendants to use the "gay panic" defense. The brutal 2002 murder of transgender teen Gwen Araujo spurred the new legislation, called the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act.

"The enactment of this bill will help keep bias and hatred out of our courtrooms," said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, in a statement. "All Californians -- regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or ethnicity -- should be treated fairly by our


Coming out in Arabic
Brian Whitaker reports on a lesbian group's struggle for acceptance in the Middle East

When Rauda Morcos heard there was an emailing list for lesbian Palestinians, she couldn't believe it at first.

"I thought it was a joke," she said. "Until then, I thought I was the only lesbian who speaks Arabic."

The list was certainly not a joke but, in a society where same-sex relations are still taboo, its members guarded their privacy. The only way a newcomer could join was by personal recommendation.

"Eventually I got in," Ms Morcos recalled, "and I found a lot of other [lesbian] women who couldn't be out."

After corresponding by email for a few months, she thought it would be good to talk with some of the invisible women face to face, so, in January 2003, Ms Morcos and her flatmate called a meeting.